Longitude #65

November, 2016


Breaking up is hard to do
by Guglielmo Ludolf

Negotiations are underway and the United Kingdom is heading for a hard Brexit. Now the Conservatives, who are cannibalizing UKIP, risk becoming like them.

Cover story

Merkel mulls another run
by Lanfranco Vaccari­­

For years it seemed as if no one could compete with Angela Merkel. Even though the recent refugee crisis has eroded her consensus in the country, she remains the best-suited leader to contrast the world’s growing populism. 

Behind the scenes at the Chancellery
by Stefano Cingolani

Assailed by an unexpected economic slowdown and bank problems, there is movement among the Christian Democrats to shore up her popularity. As major elections approach, they need to convince the German people that she is still indispensible.

Science, leadership and political evolution
by Gilberto Corbellini

There is a direct correlation between an increase in scientific education and an increase in material well being. Learning how to think rationally leads inevitably to learning how to live together in a more civil manner.

Featured briefing

Putin vs. the world
by Stash Luczkiw

The antagonism between Russia and the West keeps building. Any of the world’s many flashpoints can lead to a major confrontation, and everyone is trying to guess what Putin will do next. A close look at the trajectory of his power plays sheds light on what he intends to do in the future.

The road to reconciliation
by Gianni Castellaneta

Russia is now more isolated than it has been since the end of the Cold War. Yet it is in Europe’s interest to get back to business as usual. Italy can use its special relationship 
to help mediate.

Politics and esotericism in Turkey
by Carlo Jean

Recent events in Turkey have flummoxed those trying 
to come to grips with its already hard-to-fathom complexity. Behind the maneuvers and intrigues there are semi-secret societies vying for power.

Turkey is hungry for energy
by Enrico Verga

Both as energy consumer and as strategic hub for oil and gas transport, Turkey is growing in importance. But since it is wedged between the world’s most volatile regions, it must negotiate astutely. 

The Orientalist

What's next in the hornet's nest
by Ugo Tramballi

The new president of the United States will face a volatile and dangerous world. And nowhere does the chaos reach its maximum expression as it does in the Middle East.


Hoping the apples fall by the tree
by Fabrizio Franciosi

As China deals with epochal changes, it is also preparing for a succession in which the next generation of leaders will determine the future of the country for the rest of the century. How will Xi Jiping manage the transition?


Political intrigues in Africa
by Anna Bono

Good governance and transparency are essential ingredients for economic growth and human development in democracies. The many crises in Africa are often due to structural elements that lock in power and encourage cronyism.

World economy

Does high-tech mean high productivity?
by Danilo Zatta

Lots of statistics cast doubt on whether or not more advanced technology is actually making businesses more productive. But a broader way of analyzing not just the data, but all sorts of hard-to-measure effects leaves no question.


An Oscar award for bookkeeping
by Gianluca Comin

In business, accounting secrecy used to be the order of the day. Today transparency is essential. Technology has opened new frontiers of financial communication, an companies are forced to adapt.

Warming bloopers

Brexit's climate castaways
by Carlo Clini

As the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union, many of its commitments to EU regulations on climate regulations will be reconsidered. And the correlation between Brexiters and climate deniers is disturbing.